Bats Come Alive to Take Two of Three from Texas; Indians 5, Rangers 2

After finally breaking their eight game losing streak last night, the Indians hoped to keep they winning ways alive in the third game of their series against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. Ending the game with a 5-2 win over the Rangers did just that.

A much-improved outing from Ubaldo Jimenez, combined with a decent showing from the bullpen, kept Texas from scoring often. The Indians offense, led by Jason Kipnis, who hit a triple short of the cycle tonight, seemed to be regaining their power from earlier in the season.

The Indians got on the board first in the top of the second inning following a quiet first inning for both teams. With two outs in the top of the second, Mike Aviles delivered his fourth home run of the season. His long drive to left field scored Jason Giambi, who was hit by a pitch, and brought Aviles’ count to RBIs on the season.

The score remained 2-0 Tribe as the Rangers were unable to put up a score in the bottom of the second. Jimenez delivered his second walk of the evening, but even getting on base did not help get the Rangers into scoring position.

The third inning had the Tribe hitting back-to-back base hits from Michael Bourn and Kipnis. Bourn is tied with Dustin Pedroia in the American League for infield hits with 15.

Tepesch threw his first strikeout to Nick Swisher in the third inning, bringing up Michael Brantley, who delivered a base hit to right field. Brantley’s hit scored Bourn and brought Kipnis to third, making it a 3-0 ball game with only one out. Bourn had attempted to score from second on a hit from Brantley in the first, but was thrown out at home.

Although the Indians stranded two on base in the bottom of the third, the inning still boosted the Tribe to six hits on the game and kept their lead.

The Rangers delivered a solo home run off Jimenez in the bottom of the third, getting Texas on the board 3-1. The hit was Leonys Martin‘s second home run of the season.

A double play by Kipnis and Aviles in the bottom of the third emptied the bases following a base hit by SOMEONE, erasing the chance for more damage to be done by the Rangers.

Berkman made it to first in the third due to a miscommunication between Bourn and Drew Stubbs on his hit to the outfield. However, it was not enough to raise the score. Following his fourth walk of the game,

Giambi found himself hit by the second pitch of the night in the top of the fourth, but unfortunately history did not repeat itself with a home run from Aviles. The Tribe ended the top of the fourth with the score remaining 3-1.

A home run from Kipnis in the top of the fifth brought the score to 4-1, increasing the Indians lead to three runs. Brantley walked following a ground out by Nick Swisher. With the walk, Brantley had made it on base in all three of his at-bats, and scored on a long double from Carlos Santana.

The Rangers could not retaliate in the bottom of the fifth, as Jimenez breezed through the inning, having retired seven batters in a row.

Jason Frasor (0-1, ERA) replaced Tepesch in the sixth inning, who went five innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. He walked one batter but hit Giambi twice. This is the second night in a row that the Indians’ offense has brought about an early call to the bullpen for the Rangers.

The Rangers got their first two runners on base in the sixth inning following a base hit from Adrian Beltre. The hit also brought about the end of Jimenez in the game. After being pulled in his last outing after only pitching into the third inning, his almost-six innings pitched were a step up. However, Jimenez allowed four hits while also walking four batters.

Jimenez was replaced by Rich Hill, who did not remain long after he gave up a hit to A.J. Pierzynski that brought runners to the corners with one out. Bryan Shaw came to the mound to get the Tribe out of the threatening situation.

Shaw quickly struck out Nelson Cruz and got Baker to ground out to second, keeping the score 5-1 as the Tribe headed into the seventh inning.

Kipnis started the seventh with his 13th double of the season, barely making it to second in a close throw from Murphy in the outfield. Despite his early attack, the lead off double did no damage, as Ross struck out Swisher and Brantley, and Santana hit a fly ball to center field.

Shaw was replaced by Nick Hagadone in the eighth. Hagadone, who had a rough time during his outing on Monday, got Murphy to end the inning with a fly ball hit to Stubbs.

The eighth inning had Joe Smith on the mound, with John McDonald also replacing Mark Reynolds at third base.

The Indians led off the ninth inning with nobody out and two men on, bringing Kipnis up to bat. Kipnis, a triple short of a cycle on the night, hit into a double play to bring Swisher to the plate, who drew a walk to keep the inning alive.

Brantley lined out to center field to end the inning and bring the game to the bottom of the ninth, with the score remaining 5-1 Indians.

Vinnie Pestano pitched to the bottom third of the Rangers’ order to end the game. He threw 15 pitches to Dylan Baker until he was finally thrown out a first in a close-call throw by Kipnis. Pestano followed by striking out Chris McGuiness, with Martin then getting on base following a throwing error by Aviles that bounced off the glove of Swisher.

Jurickson Profar‘s third hit of the night lined into right field, scoring Martin and bringing the score to 5-2. Murphy’s hit to center, though, was caught by Bourn to end the game.

The Indians won their series in Arlington, Texas, taking two out of three games against the Rangers. They are now at 32-33, four and a half games behind Detroit.

Jimenez, the winning pitcher, is now 5-4 on the season, with Tepesch dropping to 3-6.

The Tribe returns home for an off day tomorrow, and will restart play on Friday night when they welcome the Washington Nationals to town for a three-game series. Friday’s 7:05 game will pair Justin Masterson (8-5, 3.68) against Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.59).

Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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